Monday, 6 April 2020

Joshua Wong: After Winning Majority in LegCo: Beijing's Crackdown May Trigger International Intervention

After Winning Majority in LegCo: Beijing's Crackdown May Trigger International Intervention
Co-translated by Joy Zhu and Karen Leung, edited by Chen-t'ang and Wentao Zhai, written by Joshua Wong [originally on 29 Mar 2020, Ming Pao]
Original: https://news.mingpao.com/pns/%E5%89%AF%E5%88%8A/article/20200329/s00005/1585420247924/%E5%91%A8%E6%97%A5%E8%A9%B1%E9%A1%8C-%E8%AD%B0%E6%9C%83%E9%81%8E%E5%8D%8A%E6%83%B3%E5%83%8F-%E4%BB%A5%E3%80%8C%E5%9C%8B%E9%9A%9B%E6%94%AC%E7%82%92%E3%80%8D%E5%8F%8D%E5%88%B6%E3%80%8C%E8%87%A8%E7%AB%8B%E6%9C%832-0%E3%80%8D 



Hongkongers have experienced our revolution for over half a year. They no longer take a consequentialist view to the effectiveness of their movement as they did years ago, or waste time second-guessing the intentions and background of fellow activists. Following the defensive battles at CUHK and PolyU, November’s District Council election saw a great victory of unity. More marvellous is the union between peaceful and “valiant” protesters. In the process of resisting tyranny, the people have realised that one cannot prioritize one strategy over another. This is also how the common goal of “35+” came into being—the hope that we will win over half of the seats in the Legislative Council (LegCo) this September, such that the political spectrum that represents the majority of Hongkongers is able to gain control of legislative decisions. The political clout of Hongkongers will increase if 35 or more seats are successfully secured on our side. It is certainly one vital step to achieve the five demands within the system.

The possibility of realizing legislative majority

Technically it is not unrealistic to win a majority even under the current undemocratic system. Back in the 2016 LegCo election, we already won 30 seats. In addition to the District Council (First) functional constituency seat that is already in the pocket of the pan-democrats, as long as the candidates in Kowloon East and New Territories West do not start infighting again, we could safely secure 33 seats based on the number of pan-dem votes in 2016.

The other 3 seats required to achieve a majority depend on democrats’ breakthrough among the functional constituencies by dispersing the resources of the Liaison Office. They also count on whether the turnout this September could exceed 71.2%—that of last year’s District Council elections. Some of the factors that could affect the turnout include: will the epidemic persist into the summer? Will there be potential violent repression of protests in the 2 weeks preceding the election? Will Hong Kong-US relations be affected by the downturn of the global economy?

Therefore, the ambition of “35+” is to be prioritised by the resistance as both a means and an end. I have already expressed my support for an intra-party primary at the coordination meeting. In the meantime, it is pleasing to see the ongoing debates reaching a consensus of maximising the seats among geographical constituencies in the upcoming election.

Whilst enthusiastic coordination, we should also assess the post-election landscape and gauge Beijing’s reactions: if we do not reach 35 seats, Hong Kong will be subject to tighter control and more severe repression by China; but if the democratic parties successfully form a majority in LegCo, CCP’s fears of a “constitutional crisis” would become imminent. Hence, the key questions are how the Pan-Democrats should deal with the volatile political situation in Hong Kong and how they are going to meet Beijing’s charge head-on.

Watching out for Beijing’s dismissal of LegCo after reaching majority

To take back control of LegCo such that it faithfully reflects the majority’s principles and needs is the definition of a healthy democracy. Recently, however, DAB’s Tam Yiu-chung has warned that the plan of the Pan-Dems to “usurp power” in the LegCo would only lead to Beijing’s forceful disqualification of certain members or the interpretation of the Basic Law. This proves that winning a majority in LegCo is not only a popular conception but also a realistic challenge that would get on the nerves of Beijing. Could Beijing accept a President James To in LegCo? These unknown variables must be addressed upon achieving a majority.

While there is no telltale sign as to Beijing’s exact strategy, we are already familiar with the way CCP manipulated the Basic Law in the past 4 years. Having experienced three waves of disqualifications in LegCo, twice kicked out of LegCo with my team, and thrice locked up in jail, I have no false hopes of an easy compromise from Beijing: they would not let Pan-Dems control LegCo for half a year and wait (as is the proper procedure) until after having negatived the Budget to dissolve the legislature, and thereby giving them an easy victory in the re-elections. The greater the Pan-Dems threaten Beijing’s rule in Hong Kong, the more likely that it will trigger Beijing’s repression. Since the disqualification and arrest of lawmakers have already become “normalised”, one can even imagine the police stepping into the LegCo building to force Pan-Dems into voting. Neither is it beyond our imagination to expect the CCP to kick out all 70 lawmakers in a fit of rage and replace them with a provisional LegCo “2.0” [HKCT note: The first was from 25 Jan 1997 to 30 Jun 1998]. To depend on a majority that could lead to a chapter of a “new testament” for One Country, Two Systems is perhaps what many elites long for, but they are overly optimistic:for a ticket to the promised land will not be available at the Chief Executive election campaign a year and a half later.

Admittedly, the Pan-Dems cannot unilaterally initiate “Laam-chaau” [HKCT note: mostly translated into “scorched-earth” mentality or “mutual destruction”; some even translated into “If I burn, you burn with us”]. The most they can do is to force a standstill of the government, and not for long the LegCo will have been eliminated from the equation to make the wheels turn again. It all leaves the plan of “Negativing the motion → Dissolving LegCo → Re-election after re-election → the stepping down of Carrie Lam” merely as overly positive speculation, probably resulting from their overestimate of CCP's capacity for rational calculation. The Pan-Dems must guard their frontlines and recognise what the biggest threat from Hong Kong to China could be. In this case, should LegCo sessions be disrupted or suspended, the Pan-Dems would have to be well prepared to surmount the expected obstacles and prevent the disqualification crisis 4 years ago—a Catch-22 indeed.

Productive tension from global intervention: Using Laam-chaau against the CCP

What aggravates the CCP the most is the potential threat to Hong Kong’s unique status as the one and only “separate customs territory”. Any miscalculation will compromise its role as the Chinese economy’s “white gloves”. Imagine if CCP were to disqualify all 70 elected lawmakers and convene a meeting north of the Shenzhen River to pass a resolution to Hong Kong’s affairs (much like the Provisional Legislative Council “1.0" in 1997), how great will the shock be in a world with an effective Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act? However hard it is to predict the future one thing is certain: With the US presidential election just around the corner, blows to the separation of powers would not be tolerated, and the West would necessarily effect countermeasures against the Hong Kong government.

Beijing has been relying upon Hong Kong to navigate the international community for decades. While clamping down on the political freedom of the cosmopolitan city, Beijing desires to maintain the financial centre’s economic freedom. Hence, we started lobbying for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act four years ago, and today we are determined to promote “Laam-chaau” on an international scale.

The will of the voters must be reflected in an election. If a “35+” legislature were to be dismissed and replaced, such flagrant violation of democracy would assuredly cause a greater backlash than the infamous extradition bill. Knowing what the reality ahead of us could be, we have to combine our election and international strategies to oppose the placement of a 35+ LegCo with an “Emergency Legislative Council 2.0”, to advance an international “Laam-chaau” to Hong Kong’s status as “separate customs territory”. Only then will we stand a chance to resist the regime and to realise the five demands.
Adjusting our mindset: Overcoming the “constitutional crisis” to reach a resolution

Upon the realization of the “35+” LegCo, it is expected that the CCP will launch a devastating counterattack. The Pan-Dems should not expect LegCo to run normally; neither can the lawmakers realise their governing blueprints they have for Hong Kong. Rather, candidates will be able to compete against one another with visions of a liberated Hong Kong through popular vote. Bringing this point up has nothing to do with undermining the common goal of reaching a majority in LegCo, but rather channels the battle of LegCo to positive use upon the rule of law’s death and a “constitutional crisis” ahead. Knowing that Hongkongers have nothing to fall back on, all Pan-Dems should not miss the only way to the realization of “35+”. Thus, be they partisans, nonpartisans, incumbent politicians, amateur politicians, or the civil society as a whole – if we stay in the political discourse of 2016 and continue to perpetuate old stereotypes, that is to deal with the divisions on the pan-democratic camp by favouring the most “local” faction; to consider only resource allocation and self-aggrandizement as the purpose of a LegCo campaign; to ignore how potential lawmakers are fitted to what specific roles; to turn a blind eye to the journey of resistance since last summer (extending indefinitely into the future)—They would lead as astray and cost us lose a precious opportunity for change by winning a 35+ majority.

The extent to which the pan-democrats can stay united in light of the political atmosphere since last summer is another problem that our side must to address. Before the watershed moment of 12th June 2019, many democratic delegates were trapped in the mentality of needing to “preserve people’s livelihood”, “be content of what we have accomplished”, and other strategies that favours stability. As the government refuses to heed to the five demands, whether the democrats, especially those in the functional constituencies, have the political will to go all-in is the real difficult question that confronts us in the upcoming LegCo election.

All in all, if “35+” cannot be realised, it is unsurprising to see LegCo being more heavily suppressed in the next 4 years; even if "35+" is achieved, it is questionable whether the pan-democrats are able to weather multiple attacks, verbal or physical, from the regime (judging from its power in the last four years) and utilise the international Laam-chaau strategy against the displacement of LegCo. Adhering to the motto of “we fight on, each in his own way” (Claudia Mo’s translation), I can only hope that Hongkongers in elections, street confrontations and international front can reconcile with each other, so that we may collectively compel the government to yield to our demands in the next six months. It is only by reaching a resolution before a real constitutional crisis that we can combat the institutional violence of the regime and not be devoured by it.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Yuen Kwok-yung, D Lung: Pandemic Originated from Wuhan; Lesson from 17 Years Ago Forsaken

Pandemic Originated from Wuhan; Lesson from 17 Years Ago Forsaken
on 18 Mar 2020 (Ming Pao Daily); translated by JL@HKCT, written by Yuen Kwok-yung, David Christopher Lung
Original: link 

Winter of Jihai (2019), a virus began in Wuhan. Comes spring of Gengzi (2020), an epidemic broke out in Hubei. Within China, there were 80,000 confirmed cases, and 3,000 deaths. People were confined in their homes and the epidemic only began slowing down towards the end of the month, yet the virus had leaked to the world outside before it could be stopped. In March, it was a pandemic, only it was announced too late by the World Health Organization (WHO). Countries lacked measures and reserves, and the pandemic swept across the globe. Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan were spared from the pandemic with continuous sprinkles of overseas imported cases and small groups, but have not yet fallen.



This pandemic came from a virus, shaped like a crown (corōna in Latin), hence named Coronavirus. Since 2015, WHO has avoided using names of people, places, animals, food, culture, occupation, etc., to name illnesses. For this one, the “year” was used for differentiation, COVID-19. In the naming of viruses, International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) analyses only the genome sequencing meticulously and disregards the other aspects. Since the genome sequence of this Coronavirus was “not novel enough”, it belongs in the same sisterhood with the SARS Coronavirus, also known as SARS 2.0 (SARS-CoV-2). Local and international media call it the Wuhan Coronavirus or Wuhan Pneumonia, simple and straight-forward, which is not incorrect.

Much controversy has resulted in society regarding the name of this pandemic. In fact, the illness was named by WHO, while the virus was named by ICTV. Nicknames are conventional, as long as they are clear and understood. In scientific discussions or academic exchanges, COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 must be used. In daily public communications or media wordings, Wuhan Coronavirus or Wuhan Pneumonia are both conventional, easy to understand, and great for communication purposes.

The Pandemic of Gengzi, an Origin in Wuhan

Around 75% of the newly discovered infectious diseases originated from wild animals. Among the few that could infect mammals is the Coronavirus, whose ancestral virus originated from bats or avians. Both have the ability to fly thousands of miles to the place the virus was first discovered, therefore the naming of a virus would also include its place of origin. To investigate the origin of a virus, the correct and objective way is to isolate the virus from the animal host. Unfortunately, since Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market was eradicated early on, the wild animals in the market were already gone by the time researchers had arrived to collect samples. The identities of the natural host and the intermediate host became a mystery. According to the locals, the wild animals sold within the Market came from all over China, Southeast Asia, and Africa (smuggled) to be distributed from there. The ancestral virus of the Wuhan Coronavirus cannot be determined.

Using genome sequencing to determine its origin, a bat Coronavirus stand (RaTG13) was found to be extremely similar to the Wuhan Coronavirus, with a sequencing similarity of 96%, therefore it is believed to be the ancestral virus stand of this Wuhan Coronavirus. This particular virus strand was obtained and isolated from Yunnan bats (Rhinolophus sinicus), and bats are believed to be the natural host of this Wuhan Coronavirus. Epidemiology clearly indicated Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market as the amplification epicentre, where there was a huge possibility that the virus had cross-infected between the natural host and the intermediate host, and then mutated within the intermediate host to adapt to the human body, followed by human-to-human infections.

The identity of the intermediate host remains unknown, but genome sequencing indicated that the Spike Receptor-binding domain of the Wuhan Coronavirus has a 90% similarity to that of the pangolin Coronavirus strand. Although the pangolin could not be confirmed as the intermediate host, it is highly possible that this pangolin Coronavirus strand donated Spike Receptor-binding domain DNA (or even the entire sequence) to the bat Coronavirus strand. Though gene shuffling recombination, the novel Coronavirus was born.

Wild Animal Market, the Origin of Innumerable Viruses

The 2003 SARS virus originated from Heyuan, became an epidemic in Guangdong, and passed to Hong Kong. The SARS Coronavirus was found in civets, and China clearly banned the trading of wild animals afterwards. 17 years on, the wild animal market has run amuck. The Chinese have outright forgotten the lessons from SARS and have allowed a live wild animal market to exist within the centre of a highly developed city, with wild animals being cooked and eaten in brought daylight – simply astonishing. The faeces of the animals within a live wild animal market contain a large amount of germs and viruses. With a crowded environment, vile hygiene, and a mix of wild animal species, gene shuffling and mutation could easily occur in viruses, therefore these markets must be banned.

Reform of the wet markets should be a focus of epidemic prevention. The mainland Chinese and Hong Kong governments must quickly improve these environments by enhancing ventilation and pest control. Before the complete elimination of live-animal markets, animal faeces must be well handled to minimise the chances of gene shuffling in viruses.

The online rumour that the virus originated from the US was absolutely groundless, delusional. Stop spreading the falsity before we expose ourselves to ridicule. To remain calm before a pandemic, informational transparency is of the utmost importance. With calm and objective analysis, refrain from parroting others and spreading hearsay. Not strictly enforcing the closure of all wild animal markets after SARS was a grave mistake. In order to defeat an illness, one must own up to the mistakes and face the truths. Stop committing the same mistakes and putting the blame onto others. The Wuhan Coronavirus was a product of the inferior culture of the Chinese people: excessive hunting and ingesting wild animals, inhumane treatment of animals, disrespecting lives. Continuing to devour wild animals for human desires, the deep-rooted bad habits of the Chinese people are the real origin of the virus. With this attitude, in a dozen years, SARS 3.0 is bound to happen.

(Dr Lung graduated in 2004 from the University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Medicine with distinction in Medicine. He currently works in the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital, where he built up the microbiology team and lab. Yuen Kwok-yung is a Professor and Chair of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong)
***
00:07 19 Mar: Yuen Kwok-yung & Disciple Withdraw & Apologise over Article "Pandemic Originated from Wuhan; Lesson from 17 Years Ago Forsaken"

Ming Pao Daily, which printed the article written by renowned biologist Yuen Kwok-yung and disciple David Christopher Lung, withdrew the article tonight.

They said they are scientists chasing after science and truth, and knew nothing about politics. They said they never intend to be involved in politics. They apologised that the expression was not appropriate and words used were wrong. This was not their intention, and they stressed that the article has nothing to do about politics. They are sorry for causing the misunderstanding due to the "typos". They did not mention what were the words and expressions involved.

However, their article did place Singapore, Malaysia and other countries together with the Republic of China. Later they changed the words to Taiwan. Now they decided to withdraw the article.
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2020年3月18日 星期三 《明報》觀點版

龍振邦、袁國勇:大流行緣起武漢 十七年教訓盡忘


己亥冬,疫發武漢。庚子春,湖北大疫,國內疫者八萬餘,死者三千。民不出戶月餘始遏,惟疫未止已外傳。三月,全球大疫,世衛後知,未及宣布大流行。諸國欠措施缺儲備,迅大疫。星、港、澳及台暫免於大疫(原文為「星、港、澳及中華民國皆免於大疫」,作者其後訂正為「星、港、澳、台暫免於大疫」),惟零星海外輸入之症及小群組不絕,尚未失守。

此疫由病毒所致,因其形如冠,故名曰冠狀病毒。世衛由2015年開始避免用人名、地名、動物、食物、文化、職業等為疾病命名。故是次以「年份」為此病冠名以資識別,稱此病為冠狀病毒感染-19(COVID-19)。國際病毒分類委員會(International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, ICTV)以病毒基因排序為命名標準,每段基因逐一細心分析,其他因素不作考慮。蓋因此冠狀病毒基因排序「未夠新」,屬沙士冠狀病毒的姐妹,故稱之為沙士冠狀病毒2.0(SARS-CoV-2)。民間及國際媒體則稱之為武漢冠狀病毒或武漢肺炎,直接簡單,亦無不可。

社會上就此疫之命名爭議甚多,事實上疾病之名由世衛起,病毒之名由ICTV起,而俗名則是約定俗成,清楚明白便可。科學研討或學術交流,必須用官方名字COVID-19稱此病或SARS-CoV-2稱呼病毒。市民日常溝通及媒體用語,則可以武漢冠狀病毒或武漢肺炎稱之,通俗易明,方便溝通。

庚子大疫  始於武漢
約75%之新發傳染病源於野生動物,而數隻能感染哺乳類動物的冠狀病毒,其元祖病毒(ancestral virus)則源於蝙蝠或雀鳥。兩者皆能從數千公里外飛抵發現病毒之處,故病毒之命名系統亦會以發現處名之記之。欲查病毒之源,準確客觀之法乃從動物宿主身上分離出病毒。可惜華南海鮮批發市場早被清場,研究人員抵達蒐證取樣本之時,場內之活野味早已不知所終,病毒之天然宿主(natural host)及中間宿主(intermediate host)身分成疑。據當地人員述,華南海鮮批發市場內之野生動物從中國各地、東南亞各國及非洲(走私出口)運抵此處集散,武漢冠狀病毒之元祖病毒源於何地則無從稽考。

以基因排序之法尋源,查得一隻蝙蝠冠狀病毒株(RaTG13)與武漢冠狀病毒極為相近,其排序高達96%近似,故相信此病毒株為武漢冠狀病毒之始祖。此病毒株於雲南的中華菊頭蝠(Rhinolophus sinicus)身上分離得之,故相信蝙蝠乃武漢冠狀病毒之天然宿主。流行病學研究明確顯示華南海鮮批發市場為初期擴散點(amplification epicenter),病毒很大機會在場內由天然宿主交叉感染中間宿主,再於中間宿主體內出現適應人體之突變,繼而出現人傳人之感染。

中間宿主身分未明,但基因排序顯示武漢冠狀病毒S蛋白受體(Spike Receptor-binding domain)與穿山甲冠狀病毒株近似度高達90%。雖然未能確定穿山甲為中間宿主,但此穿山甲冠狀病毒株極可能捐出S蛋白受體基因(甚至全段S蛋白基因)給蝙蝠冠狀病毒株,透過基因洗牌重組成為新的冠狀病毒。

野味市場  萬毒之源
零三沙士,疫發河源,廣東大疫,傳香港。沙士冠狀病毒於果子狸身上尋得,其後中國明確禁絕野生動物交易。十七年矣,惟野味市場禁而不絕,而且愈趨猖狂。中國人完全忘記沙士教訓,讓活野味市場立足於先進城市之中心,明目張膽售之烹之吃之,令人側目。活野味市場內動物排泄物多含大量細菌病毒,環境擠迫、衛生惡劣、野生動物物種交雜,病毒易出現洗牌及基因突變,故須禁之。

改革街市為防疫重點,中國政府及港府必須迅速改善環境、加強通風、滅蟲滅鼠。在完全淘汰活禽市場前,必須妥善處理禽畜糞便,減少病毒洗牌機會。

網傳病毒源自美國之說,毫無實證,自欺欺人,勿再亂傳,以免貽笑大方。臨大疫而不亂,首重資訊透明,冷靜理性分析,勿人云亦云,以訛傳訛。沙士後沒有雷厲風行關閉所有野味市場乃大錯,欲戰勝疫症,必須面對真相,勿再一錯再錯,諉過於人。武漢新冠狀病毒乃中國人劣質文化之產物,濫捕濫食野生動物、不人道對待動物、不尊重生命,為滿足各種欲望而繼續食野味,中國人陋習劣根才是病毒之源。如此態度,十多年後,沙士3.0定必出現。

作者龍振邦是香港大學李嘉誠醫學院微生物學系名譽助理教授,袁國勇是香港大學李嘉誠醫學院霍英東基金(傳染病學)教授
***
「追求科學真理 無意捲入政治」 龍振邦袁國勇撤回文章 (23:38)
本報觀點版今日刊登香港大學李嘉誠醫學院微生物學系名譽助理教授龍振邦,及香港大學李嘉誠醫學院霍英東基金(傳染病學)教授袁國勇來稿〈大流行緣起武漢 十七年教訓盡忘〉,龍振邦及袁國勇現撤回文章。

龍振邦及袁國勇表示,他們是科學家,終身追求科學真理,不了解政治,也從來無意捲入政治。「文章表達不適當,用詞甚至有錯誤,並非原意,希望外界不要把我們捲入政治,留給我們一個空間研究。」

他們稱,該文與政治無關,旨在提出尊重真相、移風易俗。若當中的手民之誤引起任何誤會,龍振邦及袁國勇表示歉意。
***
2020年3月22日 蘋果日報

〈大流行緣起武漢〉文言版 - 馮睎乾

昨天邵頌雄教授撰文,評龍振邦、袁國勇的〈大流行緣起武漢 十七年教訓盡忘〉,點出了不少人皆忽略的問題:文風。邵兄評它「文筆風格夾雜」,開場白是「無厘頭的半白話」,「初看還以為是引用網上流行好幾篇以『荊楚大疫』為題的文言潮文」。龍、袁為什麼用這種表達方式?寫法是否恰當?從文學角度談這篇文,大概比政治角度有意義得多。

先看〈大〉文開首數句:「己亥冬,疫發武漢。庚子春,湖北大疫,國內疫者八萬餘,死者三千。」一般白話固然不這樣寫,當作文言也有問題,如「疫者」兩字就有點怪,似是生造詞,文言通常寫「民疾疫者」、「疾者」、「感癘者」之類,以「疫者」指稱染武肺的人,有點語病。但邵兄說〈大〉是把網上文言潮文「改頭換面」,我則不敢苟同。我認為這篇文的寫法,根本是其中一位作者龍振邦向來的文風。

龍、袁合撰文章已有多年,我看過他們在《灼見名家》發表的作品,處處見「半文言」風格。據我推測,〈大〉的風格是龍振邦的,他在《灼見名家》的簡介這樣寫:「龍振邦,香港大學醫學院畢業。傳染病及微生物科醫生,專研小兒科傳染病。愛憶舊懷古,以史為鑑。」尾句的描述,完全符合那「民國穿越而來」的筆法。我印象最深的,是在龍醫生有份寫的〈白文信:我只是巧匠凡醫!〉中,把十九世紀蘇格蘭醫生白文信(Sir Patrick Manson)的英語筆記引文,一律譯為文言,還把外國學者評論白文信的話翻成打油詩:「醫學會上觀奇文,方知世事如斯神。白君如非驚世才,定是醉鄉夢裏人。」可惜他沒提供原文。

龍醫生以「己亥」、「庚子」紀年,跟文言潮文的確偶合,但意義不一定相同。熟悉歷史者均知道,陶淵明的「甲子書年法」不是隨意的。《宋書·陶潛傳》說:「(淵明)所著文章,皆題其年月。義熙以前,則書晉氏年號;自永初以來,唯云甲子而已。」「義熙」是東晉末年號,「永初」是劉宋第一個年號。《宋書》所言,表示陶潛在晉代所作的詩文,會書晉氏年號(有時也書甲子),但入宋後淵明也許「恥復屈身後代」,則決不書宋氏年號,只以甲子紀年。

龍醫生到底是致敬陶淵明的「唯云甲子」,抑或翻炒大陸人的無聊潮文,見仁見智,我沒特別看法。但如果有中共人認定是前者,我建議「批鬥」龍醫生之餘,也千萬不要忘記揪出始作俑者陶潛——中國士人所有優良文化傳統,黃俄共黨都會看不順眼,這就叫「逢中必反」。

最後,朋友認為〈大〉的文風既不統一,建議我整篇譯成文言,但逐字翻譯只會不倫不類,也沒太大意義,所以我姑且撮要地「超譯」這篇〈大流行緣起武漢〉,以誌此「文壇」盛事:


己亥冬,疫癘初發於武漢,府官弗問,黔黎弗知。及庚子春,湖北之疫大興,吏民始怵然而懼。政府見疫將大行,遂禁民出戶。唯害氣已流行荊楚,播越四方,罹之者不可勝數,或猝死溝壑,或頓踣康衢,或闔門而殪,或覆族而亡。一月之內,民疾疫者八萬餘,歿者三千。荊楚民眾雖絕足月餘,然癘氣不止,其流播乎赤縣,遠及海外,為害亦大矣!世衛失官,昧昧焉不知預警,致諸國無備。三月,大疫熾於寰宇,唯臺灣、香港、澳門、星國免焉。若乃疫疾之源,為冠狀病毒,此病學名冠狀病毒感染-19,俗稱武漢肺炎。病毒之命名,每據病毒宿主之所在。今冠狀病毒之能感染哺乳類動物者,其宿主或蝠或鳥,俱可千里而來。欲究病毒之源,莫若取宿主樣本於疫氣始發之所,即武漢華南海鮮批發市場是也。然學者未及蒐證,市場已為吏曹洗濯一空,故元祖病毒之發源地,無從稽考。或以基因排序法溯源,則蝙蝠蓋病毒天然宿主,而華南海鮮市場為疫氣始發之處,庶幾可知。或曰病毒源於美國,其為無稽之談,愚氓之論,自不待言。疫癘橫行,傷人實多,其治本之策,一曰求真,二曰教民。求真則反求諸己,知疫起之因,在市場不潔,風俗乖戾。教民,使之去野膳之陋俗,返文明之正道,則可防疫癘於未然。若官府政教失所,庶民冥頑不靈,則沙士大疫,必再三發矣!可不慎乎?

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

[Historical files] Sir MacLehose's Statement on 5 Nov 1977 on Partial Amnesty of Police Officers

港督麥理浩昨夜發表重要聲明 今年以前所犯貪污廉署不再受理投訴 **************** 成立兩個特別委會監管廉政公署工作 簡悅强爵士任主席 另一個高登任主席

1977年11月6日 星期日 華僑、工商日報綜合
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(特訊)港督麥理浩爵士昨晚在一項聲明中宣布:廉政公署將不受理任何在一九七七年一月一日之前所犯罪行的投訴及證據。但那些經已被接見、通緝及逃離本港的人士則不包括在內。

而一個由簡悅强爵士任主席的委員會將會成立,以監管廉政公署處理其屬員的投訴。

港督在昨晚八時四十五分由港督府發出的聲明如下:本人在昨日錄影及於今晚播出的一個電視訪問節目中曾指出,在對付貪污問題方面,已有重大的進展,而警隊目前的情況是大部份的警務人員均無需感到恐懼的,我可以說,所有公務員的情況亦是一般無異。

我認為如果能在此闡明一下本人的意思以及含意是有幫助的。這是因為顯然有眾多皇家香港警務人員現正感到恐慌。他們恐怕現時可能會因很久以前所犯的輕微過失而被追究。其他以前從未有牽涉貪污的人對於其同僚所受的威脅,無論其觀感正確與否,則均感到關注。

但我相信所有警務人員及公務人員都認為必須維持大有改進的誠實標準,他們認為此舉是有利於全體公務人員及整個社會,而且他們對於不論任何性別之人士,在處身於這個新環境下,仍然濫用他們的地位,都感到不應予以寬恕。當然也會有人不同意這種看法,他們就是那些小數有罪者,他們最關心的是要逃離檢控,或回復他們以往的陋習。

你們都知道,姬達須直接向本人負責。鑑於目前的進度,我們本來準備要宣布廉政公署,將集中處理現時的貪污事件,而大致來說,現時已達到肅清所有貪污公務人員的階段,而對於過去犯法的投訴,在普通情形下就不會予以受理。我們認為這項宣布,將會大大減輕公務員的憂慮。我們已準備在明年春作此項宣佈。但由於近日發生的事件,而且只有數個月的差別,我認為立即宣佈是會有助於現時的情形。

因此我要向所有有關人士說:今天廉政公署對於有關一九七七年一月一日之前所犯罪行之投訴或證據,在普通情況下將不予受理,惟那些經已被接見之人士,已被通緝之人士以及現時不在香港之前任公務員則屬例外。我不將那些經已被接見之人士包括在內,是因為認為執行法例之工作(無論是由警務人員或廉政公署人員負責執行),是不應該受到未經法律規定之行動所阻礙的。

我說:「在普通情況下將不予受理」,因為間或會發現嚴重的罪行,如不受理就會受到非議,而且如不採取行動,則市民定不能容忍。但遇到有此類案件時,必會先與本人諮商。

對於廉政公署在進行調查對所採用之方式及程序,有人感到關注,而這些方式及程序曾被指稱為不適當及不合法的,現時已設有一個以高登爵士為首之行政立法兩局非官守議員所組成之委員會,負責監管有關處理市民對警務人員之投訴。

現時政府又正在設立另一個由簡悅强爵士任主席之委員會,負責監管廉政公署處理對其屬員之投訴。。任何人士如認為收到不適當的待遇時,可向行政立法兩局非官守議員辦事處投訴。本人已訓示律政司對該委員會在執行職務時給予所需之協助。

律政司於下星期四立法局施政報告辯論會時,將會對此等問題作進一步之闡述。
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7 November 1977 - Statement from Governor at LegCo
"Government and community cannot yield to the corrupt says Governor"


I would like to make a statement.

On the Saturday evening I announced a new policy with regard to ICAC operations. I did say in the following terms: ‘all concerned may take it that as from now the ICAC will not normally act on complaints or evidence relating to offences committed before 1 January 1977 except in relation to persons who have been interviewed, persons against whom warrants have been issued, and persons now outside Hong Kong. I except persons who have already been interviewed because I do not think that anyone would accept that law enforcement operations, whether by the Police or by the ICAC, should be halted by extra-legal action. I say ‘will not normally act’ because occasionally an offence may come to light which is so heinous that it would be unthinkable not to act and the public would not tolerate failure to act. But in any such case I will be consulted first.’

This, of course, applied to the members of all public services, and to the public, and not just to the Police Force.

Our object has always been to cleanse the public service and to continue prosecutions for past offences until acceptable standards had been achieved. We had never envisaged prosecuting everybody who had ever committed any offence. In view of the great improvement in the standards of honesty achieved, particularity over the last two years, I had expected before long to take a step of the sort announced last Saturday. This would make it possible to concentrate on maintaining standards for the future, rather than to continue to impress the need for honesty by prosecuting people for offences committed in the past, and thus turn over a new leaf in the history of the public services. However, in the circumstances that had arisen, I judged that this relief should be granted immediately. Apart from these exceptions, it has removed all cause for fear from all who keep straight.

The exceptions were deliberately intended to be very small. One was – and I quote – ‘persons who had already been interviewed’. This does not mean anybody to whom an ICAC officer has spoken at any time. It means only persons who have been interviewed by an ICAC officer, whether or not following arrest, and to whom during that interview allegations had been made that they had committed an offence. The number of such people is small, probably not more than 200 within a force of 20,000.

Another exception was an offence committed before this year, which came to light, and was so heinous that it would be unthinkable not to act. To ensure that in no circumstances would this exception be used to undermine my general intention, I stated that if there was such a case it would have to be referred to me. And this made clear that I expected the number of cases to be negligible, and in fact none is known at this moment.

Other exceptions related to the obvious cases of persons for whom warrants had been issued or person now outside Hong Kong.

Although there was nothing in the statement that would inhibit ICAC from ensuring that the improvement achieved would be maintained, or that suggested that our determination to maintain a clean public service was abandoned or diminished, I think its timing and its content came as a shock to the public. Although the reasons for it have been sympathetically understood, many were worried that it had been made at all, or that it went too far. But certainly, no one has suggested that it should have gone further – quite the contrary.

My statement has been under consideration by the different associations of the Police Force. Honourable Members and the public will be concerned to learn that informally it was suggested that it did not go far enough; that pressure should be maintained on the administration by demonstrations and progressive refusal of law enforcement until all current interviews, charges and court proceedings now in course were dropped.

I have no doubt that these ideas were propagated by the less than one per cent who under the exceptions I have mentioned remain in fear of prosecution, and insofar as they are supported by others it is because of a mistaken sense of temporary euphoria or solidarity. I assure them it is time very soberly to consider their position. It is for the Police to answer to lawful authority and to enforce it − not to answer to a small self-interested group.

The idea that pressure can achieve further concessions of this sort would result from a complete misconception of the mood of the Government and the community. It would also ignore the true interests of at least 99 per cent of the Police Force itself. Needless to say it totally ignores the true interests of Hong Kong where the enforcement of law and order and the achievement of acceptable standards of honesty have made such strides in recent years. Concessions to such demands under pressure would invite pressure on other issues; next, it would be the suppression of ICAC itself, possibly to have persons in prison released, and so on, until we had a situation in which the law was being administered in the interests of the corrupt. I know this is not what most of the Force and their families want, but this is where they would be led if the Government were to give any further ground. To do so would yield to anarchy and to anarchy there can be no concession. I am confident in this I am speaking for the entire community, young and old, rich and poor.

I hope that wiser counsels will now prevail. But it is as well that all should realize now, before irrevocable action is taken that we cannot accept that policemen who do not accept lawful authority, or who support others in not doing so, or continue to dominate lawful authority by means of pressures, should remain in the Force, and be paid by the public. In the present circumstances powers available are too slow and ponderous. Honourable Members will therefore be invited this afternoon to amend the Police Force Ordinance to grant powers of summary dismissal.

I very much hope it will not be necessary to use these powers. I hope, as I say, that wiser counsels will prevail and that the dialogue proceeding will continue. I can also ensure all concerned that these powers will not be used in respect of anything that has happened so far, and they will not likely be used in the future.

I am glad to say in conclusion that a meeting was held between the Deputy Commissioner of Police and representatives of the various Police associations during most of today. The meeting agreed that the Commissioner should issue a statement that will be made shortly, recording a pledge of full loyalty to the Commissioner and a pledge that in future all issues would be pursued through established constitutional channels, and by no other means, and certainly not by the process of any protest public gatherings.

As I have only just heard this statement I am unable to comment on it, but I feel it right that Honourable Members should know of it before passing to the Bill before them. I still think that the powers that the amendment will confer and desirable, though the outcome of this meeting does offer additional hope that they will not need to be used.
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警聲特刊,一九七七年十一月八日一九七七年十一月七日立法局會議港督麥理浩爵士演詞************************


上星期六傍晚,本人就廉政公署之行動發表了一項新政策,其內容如下:「我要向所有有關人士說:今天廉政公署對於有關一九七七年一月一日之前所犯罪行之投訴或證據,在普通情況下將不予受理,惟那些經已被傳訊之人士,已被通緝之人士以及現時不在香港之前任公務員則屬例外。我不將那些已被傳訊之人士包括在內,是因為認為執行法例之工作(無論是由警務人員或廉政公署人員負責執行),是不應該受到未經法律規定之行動所阻礙的。我說:「在普通情況下將不予受理」,因為間或會發現嚴重的罪行,如不受理就會受到非議,而且如不採取行動,則市民定不能容忍。但遇到有此類案件時,必會先與本人諮商。」

此點當然是適用於全體公務員及社會人士,並非單指警務人員而言。

我們的目的一直都是清理政府部門及繼續對過往的罪行提出檢控,直至達致可被接納的標準為止。我們從未想過要檢控每一個曾有任何違法行為的人。鑒於廉潔誠實的標準已有顯著改善,尤以過去兩年為然,本人曾估計不久即可採取與上週六所宣布者類似的措施。

此舉能使我們今後能集中力量去保持標準,而非藉繼續起訴前曾犯罪的人士,以肅貪倡廉。這樣就可以為公共服務寫下歷史新的一頁。然而鑒於近來事態發展,本人認為有立即頒布特赦的必要。除特殊情形之外,這項決定實際上已消除了所有今後走正途人士的恐懼。

我故意將例外情形減至極少數。其一是「曾被傳訊的人士」,這並非表示任何曾與廉署人員交談的人士,而只指不論在被捕前後曾被廉署人員傳訊,並被指控曾犯罪行的人士。此類人士數目不大,再有二萬人的警隊中,人數可能不足二百人。

另一例外是在今年以前所犯的罪行,經揭發後發覺其性質極為嚴重,如有此情形而不採取行動,實在匪夷所思。但為確保在任何情況下,此類例外不致有違本人原意,故本人當時說,一旦有此種情形出現,必須轉交本人裁奪。這已明確指出,本人預料此類案件少之又少,而且事實上迄今仍未知有此種事情存在。

其他例外則是指已被通緝之人士,或現時潛逃離港之前任公務員。這項決定的理由顯而易見,毋庸贅言。

這項聲明,絕無妨礙廉政公署保持既得成果之意,亦不是說我們已把維持公共服務廉潔的決心放棄或減低。但在這個時候宣布這樣的聲明,市民當感愕然。雖然一般人對其理由已加諒解,但亦有許多人對政府竟然有此宣布表示憂慮,或認為是過分讓步。可是,並沒有人認為政府應作更大讓步。相反的,大家都認為不能再作讓步。

警務人員所組成的各個協會現仍考慮本人的姓名。但仍有人非正式地表示,認為這項聲明中所作出的讓步仍然不夠,應繼續用示威及逐步拒絕執行法例等行動,向政府施加壓力,迫使政府放棄現時在進行中的一切傳訊、控訴及審慎工作。各位議員及市民對此種種當感關切。本人絕對相信這些謬論正由為數不少於百分之九十九的人員所散播,這些人員是我所提及的不受赦免的人。他們仍然恐懼被控。其他人士如果支持這一小撮人,其與共安樂謀團結的真義,相去實何止十萬八千里。

本人因此向他們着重指出,現在正是他們積極冷靜地考慮自己處境的時候。警察隊伍的任務是香合法當局負責和執行法紀,而不是一小部份自私自利的人負責。

以為用壓力就可以獲得進一步讓步的人,完全誤解了政府和社會的態度,亦知警隊內至少百分之九十九人員的真正利益於不顧。不用說這種人更完全忽視了香港的真正利益,本港在近年來在維持法紀及治安以及奠定廉潔風氣方面,已有可觀進展。

在壓力下對這些要求作出讓步,會引致對其他問題的壓力:要求壓倒廉政公署,釋放獄中犯人等等的壓力會接踵而來,終至法律只為維護貪污人士之利益而執行。我確信這不是大部份警務人員及他們的家人所希望見到的。但假如政府再作讓步便會導致這樣的後果,就是向無法無天的人屈服,而對無法無天的人是絕對不能讓步的。本港全體市民不論老少貧富,對此定有同感。

我希望有關人等都能作出更理智的抉擇。無論如何,在他們採取無可挽回的行動之前,他們應該知道我們不能讓拒受合法當局節制的警務人員、或者支持他們不受合法當局節制的人、又或繼續試圖用壓力去左右合法當局的人繼續留在警察隊伍內,及繼續有市民大眾支付其薪酬。目前情況下,政府運用現有權力來對付這各種人員,需時過久,手續亦太繁複。所以今天下午特請各位來商討如何修訂警察條例已賦予警務處長對上述各類不法人員予以立即革職的權力。

我極希望不需要使用此等權力。正如我說我希望有關人等及時醒悟,繼續商談。我同時也要對所有有關人士保證,立即革職的權力,不會運用於迄今發生的事件上,而且將來亦不會輕易運用。

最後本人很高興的告訴各位,副警務處長與各警務人員協會之代表,今日大部份時間在舉行會議。會上獲致協議,認為警務處長應發表一項聲明,內容除聲明各會已對處長全力效忠之外,並保證今後只經由早經確定的正當途徑來解決問題,而不以任何其他方式進行。更絕對不會已舉行任何公共集會抗議之方式進行。警務處的聲明,不一會便會公布。

由於我剛剛獲悉該項聲明,故現在未能作出評論,但我覺得各位議員應該在通過修訂案之前知道有這件事。雖然他們的會議,使我們更有希望,毋須行使法案賦予的權力,不過,我認為這些權力仍然是必要的。

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Liber Research Community: "New Xinjiang" Coming Up Next Near San Uk Ling?

[Editorial note: This English article merges two articles published by Liber Research Community on 8 & 9 Oct]
Episode 1: Use of San Uk Ling Holding Centre Suspended, But "New Xinjiang" Next to SUL Set to Commence Construction?
Translated by HKCT, written by Liber Research Community [20:39 8 Oct, Chi version]


https://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/register/report/eiareport/eia_2392016/HTML/pdf/EIA/FIG%202-1.pdf

Not many people noticed this but the government secretly allocated $1.913 billion funds at the beginning of the anti-ELAB movement for site formation of about 19 hectares of land at Kong Nga Po - right next to the Chinese border and San Uk Ling Holding Centre. This will be a big step in "Xinjiang"-ising Hong Kong as the site will be used for building a gigantic police facility for counter-terrorism.

"A New Xinjiang"?

The government plans to form a site of about 19 hectares at Kong Nga Po, equivalent to one Victoria Park. It will be "a purpose-built advanced tactical training facility for counter-terrorist and other specialist operations" [PWSC(2018-19)41 Encl. 4 p. 61 note 2], isolated from the urban area, similar to the many huge counter-terrorist complexes in Xinjiang.

What will be in this facility at Kong Nga Po, or "New Xinjiang"? Not much has been publicised, but according to a plan submitted during the environmental impact assessment (in 2016), there will be firing ranges, weapons training facilities (WTF), police driving and traffic training facilities (including a multi-storey training complex), a helipad, and a proposed Police Training Facility (PTF).

When LegCo members Au Nok-hin and Ray Chan Chi-chuen asked for more details, the authorities then answered that [Chi only] the Specialist Operation Training Facility is "for counter-terrorist and other specialist operations". There will be a "simulated urban environment as a training facility". For weapons training facilities - WTF, surrounding firing ranges will be integrated into one big firing range so that the police can conduct an amplitude of firearm training, including pistols, rifles, shotguns. Also, the facility in Fanling - or the carpark of water cannon trucks, will be placed inside this "counter-terrorist facility" in Kong Nga Po. The police can train, from dawn to dusk, how to use these water cannon trucks or armoured vehicles with LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) in a far-flung forest without anyone knowing.

With no Osama bin Laden in Hong Kong, this kind of counter-terrorist training is clearly targeting public events, such as protests or rallies.

Integrate San Uk Ling Holding Centre into this big plan?

Weirdly enough, the government explained the purpose of this project as the relocation of firing ranges and other police facilities into a big one, but the latest plan did not include San Uk Ling Holding Centre and the nearby San Uk Ling Firing Range - these two have remained in the development plan.

So when Carrie Lam said San Uk Ling has ceased to operate, was that "suspension" or "withdrawal"? If it is not a permanent cessation, the holding centre may be integrated into this "New Xinjiang" project to become part of a counter-terrorist base. Will the holding centre become a new "re-education camp" like those in Xinjiang or a Guantanamo in the New Territories?

"New Territories" or "New Xinjiang"? 

In December 2018, Secretary for Security John Lee visited counter-terrorist facilities, including a counter-terrorist tactical training centre, in Xinjiang. Lee said "reference can be drawn from the experience in Xinjiang" upon his return. Soon after, his bureau submitted this counter-terrorist base infrastructure project to ask for funding in LegCo in January 2019.

Estimates 2019-20 (SB001/Q1209, Security Bureau)

Why wasn't this reported?

The project was not widely known because the government is good at playing with red tapes, putting this site formation project into the $33.5 billion appropriations of Northeast New Territories. While the press will focus on the demolition of villages or developers' hegemony, no attention will be on this counter-terrorism site in "New Xinjiang". See, everything was printed in the footnotes (note #3):


793CL – Site formation and infrastructure works for Police facilities in Kong Nga Po
When people are focusing on Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, the government has already obtained $1.913 billion to start site formation. The tender (Contract No.: ND/2018/01) said it will begin works from November this year - next month!

Now we are just talking about $1.913 billion for site formation ONLY. For a counter-terrorism facility cluster of this scale, it is very likely to cost over $10 billion. As of now, there is no estimate breakdown of the facility's budget. When the site formation is done, the Security Bureau can ask for whatever it wants to.

Oppose "New Xinjiang"

The police are treating streets with protesters as firing ranges nearly every day, aren't such training of firearm enough? There is no need to have such a training facility. If a huge place like this had been made available for drills of water cannon trucks or Unimog armoured vehicles with LRAD, its lethality will be way more than what you saw weeks ago. Thus we have to oppose this $10B+ project, which is presented as a counter-terrorism facility but, in fact, will be used to train cops to attack Hongkongers.

If there is no need to build such a counter-terrorism base and site formation has been completed, the most pragmatic solution is to move the current police training school in Wong Chuk Hang - which is 18ha - into Kong Nga Po. By vacating the site on Island South, 13,000 residential flats might be built thereon, according to JLL LaSalle.

How did Xinjiang turn into what it is now? According to SCIO, there was first an "anti-terrorism" police base, then a "preventive anti-terrorism approach" was adopted, leading to the set up of "vocational education centres", or simply "re-education camps". If we have to prevent the Hong Kong government from adopting the "preventive anti-terrorism approach", we cannot allow the government to infringe us under the pretext of counter-terrorism.

If we have to stop police violence, we must stop this "New Xinjiang" counter-terrorism project. If Carrie Lam does not take money from the coffer by invoking the emergency law, the Security Bureau is expected to apply for funds of this facility within this fiscal year. Please spread this message, do more and keep abreast of the latest situation - prevent Hong Kong from becoming another Xinjiang!

***
HKCT note: The government issued a press release to respond to rumours before the publication of this article:

Government clarifies rumours about construction of police base for counter-terrorism  
***************************************************************************
     In response to rumours on the Internet that the Government plans to construct a police base near San Uk Ling for counter-terrorism, a Government spokesman today (October 8) clarified that the Government does not have such a plan. The claims are totally unfounded. 


Ends/Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Issued at HKT 15:30
NNNN


***
Episode 2: Dark Side of "New Xinjiang" Unveiled

Chinese media have reported the project [HKCT note: SCMP, The Standard and HKFP did not report this matter as of the moment of this translation] and attracted some public attention. Although the government secretly secured the funds for site formation of Kong Nga Po police facility, or "New Xinjiang", the police force will seek funding for the main works of the facility. That will not be so easy unless Carrie Lam invokes the emergency law for funding again.

As of now, the government spokesman gave a low-key response of "totally unfounded claims" without any supporting evidence, meaning Liber Research Community has totally hit the bull's eye! OK, time for us to provide more red-handed evidence.

Govt claims info unfounded, but such info was from govt!

All information provided in the entire episode 1 is cited from official documents, including the Specialist Operation Training Facility - those were from documents submitted to LegCo. The "purpose-built advanced tactical training facility for counter-terrorist and other specialist operations" was from the government as well.

"Totally unfounded"? Does that mean the government is concocting information to deceive LegCo?

From super-prison cluster to "New Xinjiang"

It is important to read more extensively before you decide. Spend 3 minutes to know the course of history so that "the devil in the detail" is unveiled:

  • 2001 - a super-prison: In 2001, Tung Chee-hwa said the prisons in Hong Kong were overcrowded, so a study was done to see whether a large prison complex can be built in Hei Ling Chau or Kong Nga Po, so that "the CSD would be able to run the 15 000 new penal places within its existing staff establishment".
  • 2003 - proposal dropped: Regina Ip, then Secretary for Security, explained that Shenzhen did not want a super-prison to be so close by, as she learnt. DAB said it was due to security grounds, so the proposal was dropped.
  • 2010-12 - building flats: With the idea of developing the border area and spotting for sites, the government asked a consultancy to conduct a feasibility study in Kong Nga Po to see whether a project with low-to-medium density residential flats are possible.
  • 2014: relocation site to accommodate police facilities - The area would no longer be used for residential flats, but would absorb all police facilities in North District after site formation. The original police facility sites were vacated for building residential flats, according to a North District Council document. Planning Department said the neighbouring San Uk Ling Firing Range induced noise pollution, and as the firing range cannot be moved, Kong Nga Po was not suitable for residential development.
  • July 2016 - submits EIA: The entire 19 ha will be used for relocating police facilities in North District, and also additional "police training facilities will be built" but the purpose remained unknown
  • December 2018 - S for S learns counter-terrorism experience from Xinjiang: Inter-departmental Counter-terrorism Unit (ICTU) was set up in April 2018, and Secretary for Security John Lee visited Xinjiang to draw reference from them. 333 counter-terrorism exercises were conducted, including 21 large-scale drills in 2017, LegCo paper said.
  • February 2019 - counter-terrorist Specialist Operation Training Facility: project placed under $33.5 billion lump-sum appropriations of Northeast New Territories development
  • May 2019 - site formation funds secured: LegCo finance committee granted $1.913 billion funds to the site formation of Kong Nga Po and site formation works can begin in November 2019.

In short, the crucial "devil" moment occurred after 2014: first came the claim to centralise police facilities, then the mention of "training facilities" was added in 2016 with no mention of counter-terrorism in EIA. After repeated counter-terrorist drills and the Xinjiang visit, the Security Bureau asked LegCo for funds for the site formation of the project, with the indication of the facility's use for counter-terrorism only mentioned in the fine prints. Why the secrecy from the government? You got the answer.

Counter-terrorism base for sure!

When the government said "New Xinjiang" is not a counter-terrorism base, Liber Research Community carefully combed through the most recent LegCo papers and found the document:

The KNP site will also accommodate a new Specialist Operation Training Facility. This new facility together with the four other existing police training facilities to be relocated can create synergy on police training. In addition, the co-location will enhance Police’s operational efficiency. 

The reason why the facilities have to be relocated and centralised is not just about counter-terrorism, but to use this gigantic site - the size of Victoria Park - to "create synergy", so that the entire site can be used for counter-terrorism. With that, the police can use tear gas, live ammunition, water cannon trucks, fluorescent powder, LRAD (and the list goes on) concurrently in the facility. They may even put a dummy Joshua Wong in the "simulated urban environment" to practise breaking into flats and capturing a target alive. Synergy is only possible when the facilities are centralised, taking police brutality to a new level.

Questions:
  • If "New Xinjiang", or Kong Nga Po, is not going to have a counter-terrorism facility, will the Security Bureau return the $1.913 billion to the public coffer?
  • What claims are "groundless"? Those government documents submitted to LegCo?
  • The government did not mention counter-terrorism drills in the 2016 EIA. Should the government stop the permit of site formation, halt the works and do the EIA again to see the potential environmental impact>
  • Counter-terrorism facility may not be built but will it be used to build a super prison, just like Tung's suggestion?
Spread this message if you do not want Hong Kong to become another Xinjiang.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Apple Daily: Former Marine Police Arrested for Unlawful Assembly on 4 Aug



Jan Bochenski, a former marine police inspector and a retired Cathay Pacific pilot, wanted to have a walk in Sai Wan after dinner on 4 August as he lives nearby, but was subdued by the police later on. He was told that he was arrested for unlawful assembly when he was brought to the police van. He was detained for 28 hours before released.
Bochenski said around 21:00 on 4 Aug, he went to Ka On Street and found that about 30 to 40 onlookers were on the pavement, looking at the police. Some police afar were guarding the Liaison Office. Bochenski heard some disputes but did not think that to be important, so he continued to walk along Des Voeux Road West.
Suddenly, some PTU holding batons and shields approached from the other side of Ka On Street and subdued everyone, including residents in their pyjamas and South Asian delivery boy. Bochenski was asked whether he is a tourist but he said he lived nearby and just are having a walk. His reply was ignored and the police asked him to turn his phone off. He was later brought to Cheung Sha Wan Police Station. For some 40 arrestees in the same detention room, none of them is students nor wearing in black with helmets. A decoration worker, a teacher and two Indian chefs were later arranged to be detained with Bochenski.
Bochenski said the most impressive scene is there were no senior officers in the station, but all junior PCs and sergeants. Bochenski recollected that whenever there is a crisis, at least one chief inspector will be in the police station to manoeuvre, but that apparently was not the case on 4 Aug. He demanded to go to the toilet many times but was unheeded, until he said he will pee at the corner of the wall. He also demanded to call his next of kin but was also disregarded. Until rounds of complaints, he was allowed to call his wife, who is outside of Hong Kong. It was not until 5 Aug afternoon that the officers learnt Bochenski's identity as a former police officer.
After listening to the advice of the lawyer, Bochenski decided to remain silent. He said, "to be honest this makes their work easier because they know these detentions are all unnecessary; frontline officers are used for dirty work". Until around 01:00 on 6 Aug he was released but he must report presence again later this month.
Growing up in Vanuatu, Bochenski lived in Australia and the UK. His first job is to join the police force in Hong Kong and become an inspector for four years. His upbringing let him know that being a policeman in a colony must not upset the residents there.
He also mentioned that during the detention, some young officers knew that he was a policeman and had a chat with him. Bochenski was asked about his views on the current situation and he stressed the importance of trust between the police and the people - this was also the biggest challenge before 1997. Bochenski said the Royal Hong Kong Police Force spent years to build a mutual trust with the people, but now the trust has been completely eroded, and the government does not find it problematic.
Bochenski said if the government is willing to set up a commission of inquiry (COI), the mutual trust between the police and the people may be rebuilt, but the key is that both parties are willing to contribute. It has been 4 decades since Bochenski joined the force, and he still felt quite proud of being a policeman. He kept contact with his former colleagues and this year they will fly to Hong Kong to celebrate the 40th anniversary since being policemen. Although being arrested arbitrarily, his pride remains. During the interview, Bochenski repeated that the police should do their job right and cannot make arbitrary arrests.
"Whenever you are in a uniform, you should do things right and proper, otherwise you are not doing your job right, isn't it?" said Bochenski.

Chinese version (Original):

Friday, 2 August 2019

[HK's First Interpreter] Hong Kong A Step Closer to Use of Chinese in Public Matter (Chinese only)


香港政府新聞公報
一九七二年四月廿八日 星期五

公事上使用中文又邁進一步
即時傳譯主任 由英抵港履新

為推行公事上使用中文於新近所聘任的即時傳譯主任鄭仰平,現已由英國抵港,負責有關在立法及市政兩局公開會議席上提供即時傳譯服務的事宜。

在此等會議席上提供即時傳譯服務,乃為公事上使用中文研究委員會向政府提交的第一份報告內所建議。隨著即時傳譯主任的抵港履新,此項建議的實施又有進一步的進展。

鄭氏現已分別會見民政司署中文監察專員黃劍琴,布政司署及市政局人員,商討有關他的工作問題。

鄭氏在今後數月內的工作,主要將為擬定傳譯的程序,以及給予其他即時傳譯員嚴格的訓練,此等傳譯員的選錄,為根據於一九七一年香港訪問的英國專家披里的意見,他們在受訓之後,將協助鄭氏提供所需的即時傳譯服務。

鄭氏於香港出生,已婚,有四名子女,早年在上海及廣州接受教育,過去曾在香港電台、印度電台及英國廣播電台服務。

政府發言人指出,有關在立法及市政兩局為提供即時傳譯服務而裝設的工作櫃枱,其工程幾已接近完成,所需的其他設備亦已訂購,預料可於本年七月間運抵本港。

Monday, 29 July 2019

Edward Leung's Letter to Hongkongers - 26 July 2019

Edward Leung's Letter to Hongkongers - 26 July 2019
Translated by HKCT, written by Edward Leung
Original: https://www.facebook.com/leungtinkei/photos/a.172255923187252/707132706366235/ 


At 15:04 on 29 July, the Facebook page of Edward Leung, former spokesperson of Hong Kong Indigenous, uploaded a letter to Hongkongers. Full translation here:
===
Dear Hongkongers,

I hope this letter has not arrived too late.

This has been a muggy and long summer. Every night on the weekend, I would put on my headphones to listen to the news broadcast on the radio, worrying about the situation in Hong Kong. The next morning, I would watch the morning news on TV. By around noon, I would read the reports in the newspaper. Over and over, as I looked at the blood-stained scenes, my heart would be filled with sorrow and pain.

I know no matter how hard I try, I can never imagine the physical and mental suffering that you all are going through. Amidst the gunfire, I witness the bloodshed on the streets. I hear the sorrows and screams all around, and I know these have surely ignited your grief and fury.
As the number of people arrested and hospitalised continues to swell, I think of the future that you will have to face, and of the wounds that will be hard to heal. I really want to know, is there anyone who can mend the wounds inflicted on this society?

I have been separated from the society for over a year and a half now, and the information that I receive is extremely limited. I suppose writing this letter from where I am does not carry any weight, let alone writing a commentary on the matter.

However, I still hope that you all will understand: you have all exemplified incredible courage and rewritten the history of Hong Kong with your passion and love for this place. Certainly, true justice has yet to come, and perhaps you may be filled with fury in your heart; but this is only human nature. But I sincerely urge that your mind must not be dominated by hatred. In such times of crisis, you must always remain vigilant, and continue to think and reflect.

I always remind myself this: to work in politics is not just about making supporters continue their support for you. More so, it is about transforming those who were not on your side of the fence, it is about changing their mindsets, and making them identify with your point of view.

If that is the case, if we do want society view those condemned as "a mob" who have been engaged in "riots" with more tolerance and empathy; if we do want the society to understand the demands of these people who have been silenced, and accept the remonstrance of these people who have been rendered powerless; I think we must be more vigilant and alert to all our words and deeds. Will they bring us closer to our goals, or will it drive us farther away from it?

The people who should be resolving societal issues are choosing to turn a cold shoulder; instead, they seem keen to put Hong Kong's destiny on the line in a game of political gamble. What we need now is not to gamble our precious lives against them, but to purify and transcend our perseverance and hopes through our suffering. 

I sincerely pray that every Hongkonger can cross this historical juncture, safe and sound.

Edward Leung
26 July 2019

Monday, 24 June 2019

Bullets aimed at heads, fire first & then disperse - Review of Police's new strategy on 12 June

Bullets aimed at heads, fire first & then disperse - Review of Police's new strategy on 12 June
Translated by HKCT, written by Kwan Chun-hoi
Original: Kwan Chun-hoi's Medium 

"What a pleasure to see that! I thought we only fired during training. That’s real! There it is! (laughs) And I would not allow a “2.0” version to happen." In a video recorded within the police force as obtained by Apple Daily, a police officer seemed to be proud of firing, who "will not allow Umbrella Movement 2.0 to happen", talked with a sense of mission. 

Police and members of the public hold opposite views on firing. I stayed at the scene for 8 hours (10 am-6 pm) on 12 June and could give an analysis on the tactics employed by the Police in dealing with mass movement which was conspicuously different from the recent years. But the first question to be asked, both from the Hongkongers and Police, why firing came first? 

Police were facing the same situation as in the umbrella movement that 5,000 police officers were way less than tens of thousands of Hongkongers. From 3:30pm to 4pm, the force employed a baiting tactic. Front line police officers purposely did not wear gas masks, which projected an illusion of them being slack. Two inspectors in white uniform were assigned in each spot. The message of "no clearance today" was also disseminated to the lawmakers, which further soothed the tension. When protesters were lured into the LegCo Complex, tons of tear gas were fired. Flooded rapidly were special tactical squads hidden inside the Complex, as well as masked police officers with waving batons. 

To fire first and then disperse was the deployment of police and the main direction used to clear the scene on 12 June. What's more, firing (such as rubber bullets and bean bag rounds) was aimed at heads, while tear gas canisters were hurled on bodies. 

Fire first and then disperse -- The followings were my observation near the LegCo public protest area from 3pm to 4pm: 
Protest at midday on 12 June was peaceful. Police had once said that there was no plan to "clear the scene for the time being". Some secondary school students in uniform, office ladies and white-collar workers from Central arrived at the scene to show support to the protest. There were church members lined up in front of the police officers singing hymns incessantly. No violence was foreseen. 

The calm ambience at 3pm in the public protest area became tense at near 4pm, when it was learnt that clashes started on Tim Mei Avenue. Police received news at 4pm that protesters were planning to occupy the LegCo. 

Protesters charged the Police cordon line. Without any warning and under the instruction from an inspector, the police fired bean bag rounds at protesters by an officer holding a Remington shotgun. During the clashes, there were protesters hurling a few pieces of bricks, around two to three. The inspector picked up the bricks and roared at the protesters, "Are you hurling bricks? Are you hurling bricks?" From what I saw at the scene, there were not many bricks. The shout of "Are you hurling bricks?" from police was more an order to their colleagues for the sake of recording rather than a warning to the protesters. Would it be an indication of "shoot once hurled"? 

Another angle at the public protest area: Police officers rushed out to strike protesters
Police fired the first tear gas when officers without gas masks were forced to back off to the corner. Then the riot squads lurked inside the Legco Building flocked in to disperse the crowd by batons. Former Commissioner of Police TSANG Wai-hung had once explained that the use of tear gas was for dispersing the crowd, but the operation this time was obviously to fire first and disperse afterwards. This is completely different from either the operation conducted during the Umbrella Movement in 2014 that "Disperse the crowd first" or the common ways used internationally. 

Back to 1989 Govt prevents treachery 
I believed that "This is an ORDER" to take a group photo of the police officers next to the patrol car before the operation. The photo could be sent within police WhatsApp groups for showing their loyalty, recognising their faces and implementing stringently the accountability system, in case "treacherous" officers refused to shoot at the scene. With the headshot taken, any uncooperative officers can be tried publicly within Police. I witnessed the first shot at the public protest area. 

The inspector made an order to the police officer, who was holding a gun and without a mask, next to his ear. Once the first shot was fired, other police officers would be relieved of a burden and become obedient soldiers who can forget the criminal responsibility of shooting at people's heads. That was why police officers were boasting that they would not allow a second umbrella movement as they have obviously been brain-washed. I believe that even Commissioner Stephen LO Wai-chung was well aware that once there were over 30,000 to 50,000 people around the LegCo, and the Police could only resort to weapons and tear gas for clearance. 

In 1989, Xu Qinxian, the army commander of the Beijing 38th Group Army, applied for leave. Sympathizing the citizens, the troops could not clear the scene when they entered the city. DENG Xiaoping worried the morale of the troops and therefore cut off their communications. Soldiers could only wait for instructions at the camps. In 2019, rumours saying that there are opposing voices to the "Fugitive Extradition Bill" at the senior level within the Government. The Government Headquarters was closed for two days. Police officers successively quit from friend WhatsApp groups and fired feverishly in the city. The police force is now out of control. Pro-Beijing camp went against the will of a million of people by keeping silent and trying their very best to attend the meeting. ExCo member Bernard Chan even implied the deployment of the People's Liberation Army, which was however ultimately denied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Protesters were clad in white and then black, finally turned into red. Say hello to 1989. 

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Ray Wong: War between the Free World and Totalitarianism

War between the Free World and Totalitarianism
(Speech by Ray Wong Toi-Yeung on 4/6/2019 in German Diet)
(Content originally from Hong Kong Indigenous; small editorial changes made by HKCT to conform spelling standards)

Thanks for having me today. It’s my honour to speak to you. My name is Ray Wong Toi-yeung. Alan Li and I are the first refugees from Hong Kong. We were granted refugee status last year.

I would like to thank Germany for welcoming us. I really appreciate Germany’s reverence for human rights and human dignity. Today, I would also like to thank the Green Party, Ms Bause and her colleagues for organizing this important event.

30 years ago, when the tanks rolled into Tian'anmen Square, the world watched in horror as blood ran on the streets! More horrible is that this murderous regime is still ruling the country! China’s economic success gave the world an illusion that as it prospered, it would eventually become a democratic country with respect for human rights.

Unfortunately, though 30 years have passed, the communist China regime has become more brutal than ever. This is one of the world’s most totalitarian states!

When Hong Kong was handed to China in 1997, we had no choice but to accept this murderer, as the negotiation was made by the UK and China! Under "One Country, Two Systems", Hong Kong was promised to have freedom, rule of law, autonomy and democracy. But China has broken all these promises!

In 2014, I was one of the protesters in a huge pro-democracy protest, the Umbrella Revolution. In order to disperse hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens, the government ordered the use of tear gas against us and the police beat us with batons. Riot police were pointing guns in our face.
There were rumours that tanks from China were crossing the border. The vivid and bloody images of Chinese students rolled over by tanks and shot in Tiananmen square came to my mind!

I was thinking: Would this be our Hong Kong’s June 4?
Nonetheless, we were not afraid! That night I saw the strength of will of Hong Kongers who were willing to defend our city’s freedom and fight for democracy. And I saw hope.

It was this which motivated me to devote myself to Hong Kong’s politics.
I founded the Hong Kong Indigenous Party in January 2015 with a group of young people who shared the same hope as me. Our vision was to fight for freedom, build democracy and save Hong Kong’s language, culture and identity.

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”
- Albert Camus

More than a year of hard work later, we gained enough support in a by-election that we were very confident of a seat in the legislative council general election in 2016!
Unfortunately, the Beijing regime saw us as a potential threat which would undermine their great plan to turn Hong Kong into just another Chinese city.
My colleague Edward Leung was barred from running in the election due to his political views. So we transferred our support to another party, which successfully secured two seats. But these two lawmakers were later disqualified also. We lost our political rights!

Not content with this, Beijing and the Hong Kong government came after us with harsh prosecutions linked to another protest, the so-called Fishball revolution. Edward, Alan and I and 40 others were charged with rioting under the Public Order Ordinance, a law which was strongly criticized by the United Nations Human rights Council. The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison!

In June 2018, Edward was sentenced to jail for six years. About 30 other protesters, mostly students, have been put into prison for terms of 3 to 7 years.
I want to call for the immediate release of Edward Leung and all Hong Kong’s political prisoners!
There is a long list of human rights abuses in Hong Kong. Booksellers were kidnapped to China, democratically elected lawmakers were disqualified, protesters were sentenced to harsh prison terms! A Financial Times journalist was expelled from Hong Kong and human rights activists have been denied entry. Academic and press freedom is threatened.

Four leaders of the Umbrella revolution, including Professor Benny Tai and Professor Chan Kin-man are now in prison.

Is this the same Hong Kong as before 1997?

The free world has to wake up to the challenge from authoritarianism and defend Hong Kong’s freedom and dignity against communist China.

Recently, Beijing has opened a new front by ordering the Hong Kong government to pass an amendment to the Extradition law. This Law is effectively a legalization of kidnapping!

The law will give power to the Hong Kong government to arrest and extradite a Hong Kong citizen or foreign visitor to face trial in China. How dare the Hong Kong government agree to extradite their own citizens and visitors to a legal system where forced confessions are normal, and torture is common?

Human rights and the rule of law benefit Hong Kong as a trading hub. It is not only an international financial centre but also a platform for international NGOs to advocate freedom, human rights and democracy in Asia. Hong Kong is strategically important for NGOs in the whole region.

This extradition bill is breaking the firewall between Hong Kong and China. For me personally, I will never be able to go back to Hong Kong as the Hong Kong government could extradite me to China on the grounds of threatening national security.

Hong Kong is facing a critical time in its 178 years of History. On the 30th anniversary of the June 4 massacre, we hope everyone in the world who treasures freedom, democracy and human dignity will join us in solidarity.
Hong Kong needs your help!

This is not only a war fighting the Communist regime by Hong Kong people, this is a war between democracy and tyranny; as well as a war between the free world and totalitarianism.

【自由世界對抗極權的戰爭】
今天可以來到這裡為大家演說,我感到很榮幸。我是從香港來的黃台仰,這是李東昇,2018年我們獲得德國批出的「政治難民庇護」,是第一宗香港市民獲得外國庇護的案例。

30 年前,當坦克駛進天安門廣場的時候,全世界都惶恐地看著染血的北京街頭;但更可怕的是,這個殺人政權至今仍然統治著這國家。中國在經濟上的成就給了世界一種繁榮的錯覺,讓人以為這個地方有一天將成為一個尊重人權的民主國家。不幸地,30 年過去了,這裡只有變得比以前更殘暴,更成為世界上其中一個最專制的國家。

當香港於 1997 年交還予中國時,我們(香港人)並沒有選擇,只能接受這個殺人兇手,那時所有談判都是英國和中國之間的,香港人並不能參與。「一國兩制」的制度承諾賦予香港自由、法治、自主及民主,但這些承諾全都被中國打破了。

2014 年,香港爆發了一場爭取民主的雨傘革命,我是示威者之一。為驅散數以十萬計的市民,政府下令使用催淚彈對付我們、警察用警棍毆打我們、防暴警察將槍口指向我們的臉;傳聞中國大陸的坦克會衝過邊界,我的腦海重現天安門廣場上、學生被射殺和被坦克輾過的血腥畫面,我想,這會是「香港六四」嗎?

但儘管如此,我們並不害怕,那一晚我看到香港人的意志和力量,他們願意守衞我城的自由,為民主而戰。

我看到希望。

這份希望驅使我投入香港政治,我和一群和我抱持同樣希望的年輕人,於 2015 年 1 月創立了本土民主前線,我們的願景是爭取自由、建立民主,以及保衛香港獨有的文化,語言和身份。

「自由的唯一意義,就是一個變得更好的機會」。- 阿爾貝•卡繆

經過一年多的努力,我們在補選中獲得足夠支持,我們都很有信心能在2016年立法會換屆選舉中贏得一席。不幸地,北京視我們為潛在威脅,會破壞他們意欲把香港變成另一個大陸城市的計劃。

我的同僚梁天琦更因其政治主張而被禁止參選。因此,我們把我們的支持轉移到另一政黨,該黨贏得兩席,但兩位立法會議員最後亦被褫奪議席。我們失去了我們的政治權利。

但北京和香港政府並不滿足於此。在另一場被稱為「魚蛋革命」的大型示威後,他們嚴厲檢控我們。梁天琦、李東昇和我,及另外 40 人,我們被控《公安條例》中的暴動罪,這條最高刑罰是監禁 10 年的條例曾遭到聯合國人權委員會的強烈批評。

2018 年 6 月,梁天琦被判入獄 6 年,其他示威人士,包括大部份學生,全部被判 3 至 7 年監禁。
我要求即時釋放梁天琦,以及所有香港政治犯。香港侵犯人權的事例很多,書店東主被綁架返中國;民選的立法會議員被取消資格;示威人士被判處嚴厲刑期;一名《金融時報》記者被驅逐出香港,以及社運人士被拒入境、學術及出版自由均受到威脅。

四名雨傘革命領袖,包括戴耀廷教授,以及陳健民教授現時都在獄中。
香港還和 1997 年前一樣嗎?
自由世界必須在起來對抗獨裁主義,保衛香港的自由和尊嚴,對抗共產黨。

最近,北京開拓了新的戰線,命令香港政府通過《逃犯條例》的修訂。這項條訂根本是將綁架合法化!

修例會賦予香港政府權力,拘捕或引渡香港市民或海外遊客,讓他們面對中國大陸的審訊。香港政府怎麼可以同意逮捕、引渡他們自己的公民或旅客,到一個強迫認罪很普遍,酷刑亦很常見的司法制度?

人權法治令香港成為貿易中心。香港不只是個國際金融中心,也是國際非政府組織於亞洲推動民主、自由及人權的重要平台。對於這些國際非政府組織,香港於亞洲很有戰略地位。

《逃犯條例》修訂將打破中港之間的防火牆,意味著一國兩制壽終正寢,以及香港之死。
在我個人而言,我將永遠不能回到香港,因為香港政府可以以「危害國家安全」為由,將我引渡到中國。

香港正處於開埠178年來最嚴峻的時候。於六四大屠殺 30 週年這時,我希望世上每一個珍惜自由、民主以及人類尊嚴的人們,與我們團結一致。
香港需要你的援手!
這不僅是香港人對抗共產黨政權的戰爭, 更是一場民主對抗暴政、自由世界對抗極權的戰爭。